WEDNESDAY THE NINTH OF AUGUST, 2017
* Herman of Alaska *
Most merciful God, descend into my soul
which you have prepared for your reception
by the desire which you have breathed into it.
Before ever I cried to you,
you, most merciful, called and sought me
that I might find you and finding love you.
Even so I sought
and found you, Lord,
and desire to love you.
Increase my desire,
and grant me what I ask.
See, I love you,
but too little;
strengthen my love.
When my spirit aspires to you,
and meditates on your unspeakable goodness,
the burden of the flesh becomes less heavy,
the tumult of thought is stilled,
the weight of mortality is less oppressive.
Then fain would my soul find wings,
that she might rise in tireless flight
ever upwards to your glorious throne,
and there be filled with the refreshing solace
that belongs to the citizens of heaven. Amen.
( Augustine of Hippo )
PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN ( abridged )
Gracious is the Lord and righteous.
I love the Lord,
for he has heard the voice of my supplication;
because he inclined his ear to me
on the day I called to him.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pains of hell took hold of me;
by grief and sorrow was I held.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
"O Lord, I beg you, deliver my soul."
Gracious is the Lord and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The Lord watches over the simple;
I was brought very low and he saved me.
Turn again to your rest, O my soul,
for the Lord has been gracious to you.
For he has delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears and my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
How shall I repay the Lord
for all the benefits he has given to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
I will offer to the Lord
a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Alleluia.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
Refrain: Gracious is the Lord and righteous.
As we walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
may we call upon your name,
raise the cup of salvation,
and so proclaim your death, O Lord,
until you come in glory. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Herman of Alaska: the simple monk of the Aleuts
Today Saint Laika’s reaches out to the Orthodox world to remember Herman of Alaska, a monk of the Russian Orthodox Church, who was sent with seven other monks, to bring the Christian faith to Alaska. They landed on Kodiak Island in 1794. Their faith soon became the faith of the Aleutian people. The monks were called upon to protect the Aleuts from abuse and mistreatment predominantly from Russian traders who had a ready market for the otter furs that the Aleuts hunted. The monks themselves suffered abuse for taking the side of the islanders. That, coupled with inclement weather, illness, and hardship, left Herman as the last surviving monk, as the others either died or returned to Russia.
Herman himself was a simple monk. He was never ordained to the priesthood. He built a hermitage for himself on nearby Spruce Island and lived among the Aleuts as one devoted to prayer and teaching. The Islanders cared for him until he died in 1837. He was named a saint of the Orthodox Church on the ninth of August, 1970.
Scripture. In the "Gospel of Luke," the ninth chapter, in verses forty-six through forty-eight, we read:
"An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest.
"But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.’"
... for peace in the world.
... for the native peoples of Alaska and for those who serve them in the name of Christ.
... for the indigenous peoples of the world. DETAILS
... for the people of Singapore, who celebrate their national day today
... for an end to the war of words between North Korea and the USA and for an end to the threat of war between the two countries.
... for those injured when a car was driven into a group of soldiers in Paris. DETAILS
... that there will be no violence in Kenya following yesterday's presidential election.
... for those killed, injured or left homeless when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck China's south-western province of Sichuan. DETAILS
... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
From "Wisdom of the Sadhu" by Sundar Singh:
Both water and oil come from the earth. And though they are similar in many ways, they are opposites in their nature and their purpose. One extinguishes fire, the other gives fuel to the fire. Similarly, the world and its treasures are creations of God along with the soul and its thirst for spiritual truth. But if we try to quench the thirst of our soul with the wealth and pride and honours of this world, then it is like trying to extinguish fire with oil. The soul will only find peace and contentment in the One who created it along with its longing. When we turn to the living Master, we receive water that satisfies our soul. This water is a well of spiritual life that springs up deep within us.
It is pointless to seek peace in the things of this world. Peace and satisfaction are not to be found there. It is like the boy who found an onion and peeled away layer after layer, hoping to find something inside. When he had peeled away the innermost skin, he found nothing else. So this physical existence and all that it contains is empty and hollow until we discover the true source of peace. The water of life cannot be contained in earthen tanks, but those who approach the Risen One with a pure heart will find the answer.
Holy God, we remember Herman, who came from Russia to bring the good news of Christ’s love to your native people in Alaska, and to defend them from oppression. Help us, we pray, to make no peace with oppression and to follow his example in proclaiming the gospel; through Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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